Napa & Mendocino & Monterey, Oh My! Part 1

After working 10 months with nothing but the promise of a particular vacation to keep me going, it was slightly bittersweet when vacation day finally arrived. Cheers for finally getting time off with no cell phones! Jeers for the end of the suspense that’s kept me going all this time. What’s going to get me through the rest of the year? I’ll have to go back to relying heavily on chocolate and alcohol.


The trip was nothing short of fabulous. We started in Los Angeles (even though I promised myself I’d never ever ever fly into LAX again) and spent the first day/night amongst a friend’s wedding festivities. Probably THE most fun wedding reception I’ve ever been to outside of my own. In addition to a hamburger bar, there was a hot dog stand serving bacon-wrapped weiners, a donut stand, photo booth and caricature artists.


Add to that a reunion with about 30 girlfriends I haven’t seen in over 3 years and I was on cloud 9. I couldn’t stop smiling…


View from our hotel room. Good Morning Los Angeles!

Photo Booth Fun at the Wedding Reception

Complimentary wine in our hotel room, compliments of the bride and groom

I hadn't seen these girls in forever!

Caricature artist at the reception - Genius!


Day 2 started at 5:30am with a Sugar Free Red Bull in hand. Napa-bound and thrilled about our wine tasting tour, we drove 6 hours north. Well, he drove. I sang, played DJ, and served as the perfect co-pilot (“would you like me to ketchup your fries for you?”… “Oooh, pull over so I can get a picture of that!”…. “Can we stop soon? I have to pee”).


The wine tasting tour was nothing short of fabulous. If you’re ever in Napa, Sonoma or even Mendocino County, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Book a wine tour and enjoy every second of it.


I learned so much! I’m a white wine lover, by nature; something about it being chilled and not staining my teeth. However, the Napa tour guides told me to “embrace reds” and open my mind to experience something more…


If you’ve ever been on a wine tour, you know that it is a hodge podge of people. In fact, so much of a hodge podge, that we were placing bets on where our last passengers were from before we picked them up (If you guessed Istanbul, you’re right). My favorite passenger was a woman named Babs who was madly in love with all things wine (and was missing her 2 big toenails). Hailing from Jacksonville, FL, she was Miss Congeniality at the first winery and by the fourth, Miss Inebriality.


Babs cringed everytime anyone poured wine into the dump bucket. She just couldn’t stand to see good wine go to waste. And, after the wine wore off, I realized that Babs and I weren’t too different. Only, in my case, it’s life. Pictures below and more to come. One of the most amazing days of my life (with or without wine):


First pour

Gorgeous views everywhere we went!

Wine Notes...

Picking fresh grapes off the vine

Oak Barrels at the Hess Collection

This one looked a little dry...

Gorgeous doors at the Hess Collection




Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!